Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Because why not?

It seems that Mommy B and I are real gluttons for punishment. Even though neither of us have ADD, we can’t seem to “sit still” in life – we’re always changing things around and shaking things up. Life would just be too boring otherwise, right? Allow me to bring youse up to speed on everything we’ve piled on our plates recently. After all, with my metabolism I never did like having an empty plate.

Mommy B is still grinding it out with her schoolwork. She’s only a few months away from obtaining her Master’s degree in nursing, which I’m so proud of her for working towards. It’s not easy being a mother of two small children, taking Master’s courses, oh, and she’s got this little thing on the side called a full time job. She’s almost there, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m optimistic that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

I’ve taken on some new responsibilities at my job as well. My direct manager left the company just over a month ago so now I report directly to her former supervisor. My “new” manager has tasked me with some rather important duties that could get me some serious street cred around the company. I’ve also volunteered to facilitate a Project Management Professional (PMP) study group for folks at the company who are looking to get certified. I’ve been looking for a chance to share my knowledge and experience since obtaining my PMP certification back in May 2013, and this opportunity recently presented itself. Not only will it help me stay up-to-date with my knowledge on the subject, but will also count as continuing education credits to maintain my certification. Not to mention it’ll look good for the company (and me) if a whole group of people get certified thanks to my help. I’m all about giving back…

We also decided a couple weeks ago that we want to sell our house and move to another part of Charleston. We still like the area where we are now, but the public school situation is pretty dire at the moment and likely isn’t going to drastically improve for some time. They’re working on it, but it won’t be up to par by the time the A-Team comes romping through. Plus, we’d like a little more square footage (a.k.a a play/media room) for the years to come. So, we contacted an agent, got the house cleaned up and put the old girl on the market Thursday of last week. We had a showing on Friday and another on Saturday morning, and we had offers in our email by Saturday night. We were basically batting .1000 – two showings, two offers. Holy crap. We’ve been looking at potential properties all along, but nothing was really grabbing us like our current home did when we first walked in. That was, until last night. After looking at probably 15 houses or so (and countless more online), we’ve narrowed it down to two houses in the Mount Pleasant area of Charleston.
We thought it would be best to strike while the iron was hot and put an offer in on a house we saw for the first time yesterday. Real estate is moving fast in this town as we saw first-hand with our own house! After viewing the last few houses, we went back to the agent’s office and stayed until about 9pm last night ratifying the contract on our own house and putting an offer together on the house we want. We’re scheduled to go back to our top two houses this afternoon for one more walk-through, and I’m bringing my parents so they can give us their thoughts. I’ve feigned modesty about my father’s construction background in previous posts, but I’d really like the big man to “inspect” both houses and give us the details. He’ll give us the cold hard truth about each property – if he feels the layout would work for us, if there are any structural issues, if certain things will need to be replaced soon and anything else his decades of experience might expose to us star-struck youngins. So we’ll see how that goes. I knew going in that the home-selling/buying/moving experience is one of the most stressful that a couple will ever go through, and the timing isn’t helping matters much.

In other news, our home computer died last week. The good news is that it isn’t software-related and the hard drive is still intact, but the power cord and DC jack are no longer changing the battery. And as we all know in this modern age of technology that no battery means no computer. The nerds at the repair shop said it would take 3-5 business days to order and ship a new DC jack, then just an hour or so to install it. The whole deal would only run us about $150 and change, but the headache of having to borrow my parent’s computer while Mommy B tries to complete her schoolwork has added another stressor to the equation that we’re trying our best to deal with. Not to mention the fact that the number of emails we’ve been trying to send back and forth to get the housing situation squared away has complicated matters even further.

Before things really started heating up with the house sale/search, Mommy B and I had booked a weekend trip to Maggie Valley, North Carolina so I could take her snow skiing for the first time ever. I learned how to ski when I was in 4th-5th grade, and did it all through high school. Granted, most of my slope time was on the steep crags of Perfect North Slopes just across the Ohio border in Indiana. We’re talking 300-foot verticals here, nothing to be messed with. Well, in a couple weeks I’m taking her to the Appalachian Mountains to get her on some real ski slopes. We’ve booked a cozy little cabin at the base of the mountain (with a hot tub) and are looking forward to spending a couple days on the slopes – all by ourselves. Grandma C has been kind enough to book a plane ticket to Charleston to come take care of the kiddos while we’re shredding the fresh powder. I’m hoping that we can still make the trip in the midst of all this housing drama, so that could be pending.

Our kids? Oh yeah, them…

Alli is still every bit of a nut she’s always been. I know we’ve said it numerous times before, but it’s really like having a small person around the house. She’s extremely articulate and will tell you exactly what she’s thinking and what she needs or wants. I never would have thought that I would have had some of the conversations I’ve had with her and she’s not even three and a half yet. I can only imagine what the next couple years will bring. She has started coming into our bedroom on the weekends and climbing into our bed with us for snuggle time. Well, Mommy B and I wish it was snuggle time because in actuality it has become Alli blabbing to us about anything and everything that’s on her mind. From what she learned in school that week to what she’s going to eat for breakfast that morning to what she wants to watch on TV… the girl is an endless stream of consciousness in the mornings. She’ll still have a meltdown for a ridiculous reason (as most three-year olds do), but she’s to the point now where we can usually talk her off the ledge easily because she understands so much of what we say to her. I swear, being a parent should require a Master’s degree in Psychology. Unfortunately most of the people having kids these days barely have a degree in anything.

Aiden is slowly but surely expanding his vocabulary. More and more words are making their way out of his mouth, even though he certainly knows what he wants to say. He’ll point and pull and drag you to whatever it is he needs or wants. He’s still a Stage 5 clinger, and he’s definitely into his Terrible Two’s early – just like his big sister was. Don’t give him something he wants, and it’s bad head and big crocodile tears… instant crisis. His latest trick is to nod or shake his head when you ask him a yes or no question. It’s pretty encouraging to see his development take form in something like that – where he not only understands what you’re asking him, but also knows the proper non-verbal response to get the desired result. I know their school has taught them baby sign language since they were infants, but seeing him grasp this more adult-like non-verbal communication is pretty impressive for a 21-month old.

I’m sure I’ll say this again numerous times before the deal is done, but I’m so thankful to have my parents just down the road during this stressful time. As anyone who has ever sold and bought a house (while having small children and a dog around) knows, there is so much that goes into prepping, showing, viewing and closing that it would be darn near impossible to do without help around. My parents have been so accommodating for us the last few weeks – running over to the house to quickly straighten things up and take Scarlett with them so the house can be shown, or to just babysit the kids while we tried to look for new houses without having to drag them along. I know they love spending time with their grandkids, but we’ve had to have them available at a moment’s notice for weeks now, and I’m sure they’ll be glad when the process is complete as well. We’ve talked about the moving situation with them and they understand that now really is probably the best time for us to make this move. Of course, they probably think we’re crazy for doing it now anyway… because, why not?

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